Do you have a dream travel destination?
Have you imagined a retirement filled with amazing, exotic locations or the endless summer?
Or are you looking forward to hitching a caravan and hitting the outback roads?
Whatever your preference, travel is always on the top of our clients’ retirement goals list… so in this article we explore a range of travel options. Plus, we give you some great tips to help make your adventures safe and as stress-free as possible.
Our own backyard
The Australian landscape is incredibly varied. From the Daintree to the Dandenongs, Kakadu to Kalgoorlie, the choice of destinations is seemingly endless.
And the style of travel is equally varied. Whether you fly and stay in star-rated accommodation, or drive your campervan and plug into a powered site, you can make every day something special.
Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park in the Northern Territory offers all Australians an opportunity to connect to country. You can walk around the base of Uluru and discover incredible geological formations, ancient rock art paintings and cool, peaceful waterholes. Most of the walking tracks in the National Park are classified as easy to moderate and many are wheelchair accessible.
With guided tours you can hear Dreamtime stories that have been passed down through generations, or you can join art workshops to learn more about traditional dot-painting. For the night owls, there is even an astrophotography lesson available… where you can learn how to take the perfect photo of the Milky Way.
Lord Howe Island is a tiny piece of paradise in the Pacific Ocean and was recently named number five in the ‘Best in Travel 2020’ by Lonely Planet. The World Heritage listed destination is the perfect place to escape a busy urban environment… with no cellular reception and a speed limit of 25 kilometres an hour, you can’t help but slow down, switch off and take a deep breath of clean, fresh air.
The island’s activity list has something for everyone. If you love nothing more than a round of golf, the Lord Howe Golf Course offers an impressively challenging nine holes. Watched over by Mount Lidgbird and Mount Gower, the course is one of the most picturesque in Australia.
For the keen angler there are many great fishing options… throw a line in off the jetty or board a charter boat for a trip out to Ball’s Pyramid where you can catch yourself a Lord Howe Kingfish or Yellowfin Tuna. Or, if you prefer feathers to fins, the island is Australia’s number one bird watching destination, boasting 130 permanent or migratory bird species… including the endemic Lord Howe Woodhen.
For a short getaway, Launceston offers a vast array of options. If you are based in Melbourne you can make the journey with your own vehicle, travelling on the Spirit of Tasmania.
When you dock in Devonport, Launceston is just over an hour’s drive away. If you happen to be in town on a Hawthorn match weekend you will be guaranteed a fun footy crowd and plenty of camaraderie.
The weekly Harvest Market is held every Saturday from 8.30am to 12.30pm at 71 Cimitiere Street, in the car park opposite Albert Hall. Here you can meet local farmers and enjoy delicious seasonal produce. Or if beer brewing is a pastime you enjoy, you can visit the James Boags Brewery for a tour. You will find out about the brewing process and gain insight into the company’s long history. Plus, you will enjoy a tasting session accompanied by some fine Tasmanian cheese.
One of the most popular ways to explore overseas destinations is via an international cruise. Almost every corner of the globe is serviced by cruise liners and some of them will offer discounts for senior travellers.
The all-inclusive nature of a cruise can be very appealing as there are no additional meals or entertainment costs.
Many cruises will also offer experiences or excursions when you dock in different ports. The most difficult thing about a cruise is choosing between Alaskan glaciers, Caribbean seas, European rivers or South Pacific islands.
We also have to tip our hat to our neighbours across the ditch. New Zealand is a wonderful destination for a retiree holiday. Whether you choose the North or South Island, Aotearoa will not disappoint.
Bay of Islands in the north is home to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds where you can learn about Māori culture and the interesting history of New Zealand.
The geothermal activity in Rotorua enables you to experience thermal spas and visit bubbling mud pools. While down south in Milford Sound you can view spectacular cliff face waterfalls while looking out for fur seals, penguins, dolphins and whales.
Your pre-travel to-do list
Before you take off on your adventure there are a number of tasks you should complete to make sure everything back home is looked after.
- Compare travel insurance options and select the most appropriate for your destination and style of travel.
- Discuss your travel plans with your doctor and make sure you have any medications you will need during your trip.
- Give your contact details to a trusted family member or friend. If this is an email address, it’s important to check that email account every couple of days.
- Review your regular billing cycle and set up direct payments for your mortgage or rent, utilities and other services.
- Consider assigning a Power of Attorney in case you have any urgent financial matters arise while you are away.
- Share a copy of your travel documents and itinerary with someone at home, plus take a spare copy with you in your luggage.
Financial planning for travel
There’s no doubt that travel is a popular pursuit in retirement, but it is important that exploring the globe doesn’t come at a cost to your long-term financial security. You need to find a balance between your desired lifestyle and meeting your regular income needs.
Careful wealth management will help create an income stream that can support your retirement goals and enable you to travel the way you want. Account based pensions are often a good option as they allow flexibility for lump sum withdrawal to finance holidays, as well as your regular income.